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UN clone talks bog down

US and other delegates want a treaty to cover all forms of human cloning.

Christine Soares(csoares@the-scientist.com)

NEW YORK — A United Nations working group tasked with establishing a "negotiating mandate" for a treaty to ban human reproductive cloning ended its week-long session Friday September 27 having concluded only that more discussions are needed. The group's talks stalled because of fundamental disagreements over whether the proposed convention should be limited to reproductive cloning, or should address all applications that involve cloning human embryos.

"Everybody's in favor of banning reproductive cloning, so there is support for this, but for some states this is not enough," explained Ambassador Peter Tomka of Slovakia, chair of the UN cloning committee. "They would like to have other kinds of cloning involving embryos banned," he told The Scientist, "while some states which came with the idea of just banning reproductive cloning agree that the committee should also deal with other types, but not in one instrument. And others think it should be...

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